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3D Printing

3D Printing and the Fastener Industry

If the title caught your eye or even if you were thinking "3D printing of fasteners? Why?" then bear with me and read a little further. You might just be surprised.

3D Printing

Face it, the world is evolving and technology marches forward. Most of us in the fastener industry don't really see much of that. I mean heck, fasteners are not really new. Yeah there are subtle changes and designs but the overall product has remained fairly constant. However, and here is where it gets interesting, imagine being able to improve your sales and support to those who really need it and may not understand our business as well as they think they do or as well as they should. If you could only offer these end users and customers something different to help them see more of "our business and its products". If that could happen then wouldn't they be more engaged with you as a supplier and lean on you more for advice, design and solutions? Wouldn't this put you ahead of the competition? More or should I say most importantly, wouldn't this increase your sales? OK enough of the sales pitch. Let's dive into the subject and dissect it a bit.

3D printing has become a part of the engineering world today and as more and more techno updated engineers enter the market, they are relying on 3D printing to aid there designs and products. The fastener business has basically been a 2-dimensional design offering or we send them samples of standard items and they either force them, to work or backward engineer a standard into something that meets their demands. This is where the 3D solution really takes center stage. Imagine having the ability to make EXACTLY what the customer requests or thinks they need and be able to give them and actual item they can test in the actual manufacturing or prototype they are working on. Not only that but imagine having the ability to supply them this part in a few days or less vs. weeks for a production run or a specialty metal shop to mill out an expensive part just to get the customers approval. Of course, let's not forget, this is best case scenario and the design print and the part made actually is perfect for their demands. Well what if it isn't and changes need to be made? Back to the drawing board and repeat the process. This means more money and more time wasted and the wheel of progress grind to nearly a halt. At some point your sales person or worse, the customer, get tired of the game and give up. This is where 3D printing is a viable and powerful resource!

3D printing solves the previous issue. While it may not solve the engineering design flaw it will certainly aid in correcting it if need be. 3D printing can make a single part in minutes or hours and give you and your team something that is exciting to the customer. Quick, efficient and adaptable offerings to move with them through design stages without the overwhelm delays and excessive prices of metal working.

Caught your attention now I bet. However, you still have some doubt and concerns. You are thinking..." I don't have any idea how to 3D print and even if I did I am not an engineer and heck, I don't even have 3D printers or design software and CAD to make this happen".

This is where Worldwide Fastener can assist and for a fraction of the cost it would take for you to begin this endeavor on your own.

WWFS has the 3D printers, the software and the engineering backgrounds to assist you and be another extension of your company. We can design a 2D print, or a 3D print for you. We will also design these prints with your company's proprietary information, name and logo built into these prints. With our software and 3D printers we can make these 2D or 3D prints into a physical part for you and at times we can even put your logo on the part itself and all of this in a fraction of the time it would take you to outsource all these projects. Just as important as the fast turnaround time is the extremely reduced cost.

WWFS can even help you source the new and customer approved widget through our sourcing arm. That is right. You do not have a known source of supply for this special part? You want to have another quote from a new source? WWFS can help!

Let's recap.

WWFS can support you in the following ways:

  1. Design and create a 2D print complete with your company information and created in a format that can be uploaded to your ERP system. Can also be a controlled copy for QC requirements.
  2. esign and create a 3D print complete with your company information and created in a format that can be uploaded to your ERP system as a PDF or similar file. Can also be a controlled copy for QC requirements.
  3. 3D physical part(s) can be created alone or with the above options and turnaround time can be less than a few days. Actual parts created from design prints and ready for customer submission.
  4. If required or requested, approved physical 3D parts samples can be submitted for production quotes through our independent supply sources both domestic and foreign to offer you competitive pricing.

These 4 options are an ala carte type menu and we are happy to discuss alternative options.

Keep in mind any and all of the above options are essentially proprietary to your company. You will have complete design control and ownership of any and all prints and or samples provided.

3D printing in the fastener industry? I am sure you see the importance of it now!

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